Airing out the house

At a friend’s place recently, a guest in from the States studied me as I repeatedly swirled and then sniffed the rich red wine that had just been poured into my glass. A wine novice but interested in learning more, she asked why. I explained that airing a glass of wine is much akin to airing out a house. Think about the last time you went into a country cabin or rented a vacation home. One of the first things most ... Read more

The revival of rose

We tend to forget about rosé wines during the frosty months of winter but it’s time again to delight in the joys of this versatile drink! What do I love about rosé wine? In a word, everything.  That dash of colour is the perfect antidote to the long gray of winter. The bright aromas, the different styles, and most of all, the simple versatility of rosé makes it a great choice for almost anything. For example: Celebrating something? Pink bubbles are festive and ... Read more

p.s. to our Treasure blog

It wouldn’t be fair not to add a brief PS onto this post. Yes, sourcing is actually a lot of hard work and long hours of research but I did manage to come home with a pretty decent amount of treasure. Now if I could only find somewhere to bury it so that it will last! Suzanne Read more

In search of treasure

Allow me to provide a little insight into the nature of wine sourcing, lest you think that it is all fun and games.  It obviously can be great fun and it’s definitely a treat to go out into the vineyards, to meet winemakers and get to speak to these talented artisans face to face. But it can be daunting as well, particularly when faced with a huge tradeshow featuring hundreds upon hundreds of winemakers in a hot and sweaty hall: The first ... Read more

Le Baron Rouge

Recently, I was able to take some time out for an afternoon at one of my favourite Parisian watering holes, the Baron Rouge. Working your way through the crowds that have spilled out onto the street devouring oysters of all sizes, rich charcuterie and decadent cheeses can be initially daunting but well worth it, especially once you’ve spotted the wine offer. Small production wines from every corner of the country can be found and ordered by the glass, by the pitcher or ... Read more

Strippers and Burlesque Dancers

What’s the difference between New World and Old World wines ? This is a question that I am frequently asked in a tasting setting. And it can be a tough one to answer. Like many of you, I began my wine journey by exploring wines based on various grape varieties. I grew comfortable with them and came to know what to expect from Chardonnay versus Sauvignon Blanc. Then I moved to France where many of the grapes were the same but somehow became ... Read more

Figuring Out French Wine

What tips can you give beginners on French wine in general? This was the question recently posed to me at a wine tasting. It kind of caught me off guard. I mean, French wine is pretty tough to figure out especially to newcomers and/or to those who don’t speak the language. So how to answer? Here are my top tips: 1) Don’t be afraid to try. France offers tremendous diversity in wine and while it boasts legendary icons at stratospheric prices, there is so much ... Read more

Wandering, Wine, and Wedding

I occasionally get asked how we find our wines. Often it’s the result of long hours of research, tastings (which are in fact strenuous at times), and rigourous selection. But sometimes it’s just plain serendipity. My first visit to Sancerre was by chance several years ago. I was away on a long weekend with friends driving around the easternmost part of the Loire Valley when we spotted a little village with its requisite chateau atop a hill. Finding a place to park, ... Read more

Plumbers and Pauillac

Below is a story sent to my by a friend recently.  Just goes to show you that you never know where that next bottle might be coming from... The Best Plumber in the World, by Beth Rudwell Our plumber is the nicest guy. He will do most any little thing for us…even electrical work, as he is a plumber AND an electrician. Over the past few years he’s been here several times doing the worst of jobs like crawling on his stomach in ... Read more

Crémant, the other French bubbly

Champagne may be the reference for all that sparkles, but for most of us, budgets have their limits even when there are great buys availableçiào. By now, you all know the festive fizz from Italy (prosecco) and Spain (cava) that offer great value for money. But how many of you know about crémant - the “other” French bubbly? Crémant is dry sparkling wine made outside of the Champagne region but vinified in the same method (méthode traditionelle).  Terroir and grapes vary widely but strict rules ... Read more
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